Comair Flight 3272
A Comair Embraer EMB-120, similar to the one involved.
|Date||January 9, 1997|
leading to loss of control
|Site||Monroe, Michigan, USA
|Aircraft type||Embraer 120 RT Brasilia|
|Operator||Comair (as Delta Connection)|
|Flight origin||Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport|
|Destination||Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport|
Comair Flight 3272 was a Comair flight departing on January 9, 1997, from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. While on approach for landing, the aircraft, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, crashed nose-down 18 miles short of the airport. All aboard, twenty-six passengers and three crew members, died as a result of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause was inadequate standards for icing operations while in flight, specifically the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish adequate minimum airspeeds for icing conditions, leading to a loss of control when the airplane accumulated a thin, rough accretion of ice on its lifting surfaces.
A contributing factor was the decision of the crew to operate in icing conditions while near the lower end of the flight envelope while the flaps were retracted. Comair had not previously established unambiguous minimum airspeed values for flap configurations and for flight in icing conditions.